A monitoring site will be of limited value if its stream characteristics inhibit or prevent installation and maintenance of antennas. Stream characteristics that may influence antenna configuration include depth and width of the stream and flood plain, as well as the expected route of fish passage during various flow and debris conditions.
Seasonal flood conditions may make it impossible to hold the antennas in place. If this is the case, an alternate site will be needed to investigate any biological questions that depend on monitoring fish during periods of flooding or high debris load.
A dry, protected location with a power source will be needed for the transceiver and ancillary systems, and access to this location must also be considered. Thus, selection of the stream site must consider land–based questions as well: Can the site be accessed by a vehicle or must equipment be carried in on foot, by boat or by helicopter?
Access may also vary by season or with severe weather. A road or trail that is accessible during summer or dry periods, may be closed during winter due to heavy rain or snow. Even during dry summer periods, some areas may be closed because of fire risk or other seasonal events.
The presence and availability of utilities such as electricity, telephone, and cellular phone service must be evaluated for each potential site. Access to utilities will affect the cost of the system and its installation and maintenance.
Finally, consider recreational use of the stream, such as fishing and boating. These activities can also factor into site selection, since antennas may impact boat navigation (and vice versa).